Winter sprinkler ban

A ban applies to all scheme and bore water users in Perth, Mandurah and some parts of the South West, from 1 June to 31 August each year.


Why does a ban exist?

Evaporation rates are generally lower in winter, so you can leave your sprinklers off and let the rain take care of your lawn and garden instead. The winter sprinkler ban aims to prevent wastage and save water for the drier months. 

The ban was put in place in 2010, and has been a permanent water saving initiative ever since. Last winter we saved around 4.8 billion litres of water by switching off our sprinklers and letting the rain take care of our gardens. That’s almost enough to fill Subiaco Oval 5 times!

Am I included?

To find out if your home or business is affected by the winter sprinkler switch off you can either view the interactive map below or check the list at the bottom of the page.

Reporting a breach

You can report breaches at anytime by completing our sprinkler breach form.

Please note that a malfunctioning irrigation controller is not an excuse for not complying with the winter ban, so please check your irrigation system – especially after a power black-out.

I have a rainwater tank – can I still use my sprinklers?

The winter sprinkler ban does not apply to irrigation systems that use water collected by rainwater tanks. The ban only applies to scheme and bore water users in Perth, Mandurah and parts of the South West and Great Southern regions. However, we do encourage everyone to irrigate only when necessary, regardless of the source. 

But won’t my garden die? I definitely need to water my lawn!

Winter brings with it cooler temperatures and lower evaporation rates which means the plants in our gardens don’t need as much water. Most lawns in WA go into a state of slowed growth over winter, so rainfall should be enough to keep your lawn alive. 

What if I’ve just installed my lawn? 

If you’ve just installed a new lawn, you can apply for a new lawn exemption allowing you to water as necessary until it is established. You can apply for a new lawn exemption through our online form. Keep in mind that you will need to meet the conditions applicable to our exemption or be at risk of a fine up to $500. Breaches are the responsibility of the property owner, not the person who installed the lawn, plants or sprinkler system. 

Can I still test my irrigation? 

You can employ a professional in the irrigation, turf, garden or landscaping industries to test your irrigation system on or outside of your allocated watering days and times, however:

  • testing is limited to a maximum of two minutes per station
  • the professional must be in attendance in the garden area where the sprinklers are operating
  • appropriate signage indicating that testing is in progress must be clearly displayed
  • inspectors will ask to view repairs.

Can I hand water during the ban?

Yes, customers are still able to hand water during the winter sprinkler ban as there are currently no restrictions on hand watering.

Can I get fined if I do use my sprinklers?

Yes, you can. Anyone in the winter sprinkler ban area found using their sprinklers between June and August, risks a $100 fine. Our inspectors are out in force 7 days a week and all complaints are investigated.

But my irrigation controller malfunctioned?

You could still receive a fine. A malfunctioning irrigation controller is not an excuse for not complying with the winter ban, so check your irrigation system – especially after a power black-out.

I’ve spotted a sprinkler breach. Where can I report it? 

If you’ve spotted someone using their sprinklers during the ban, fill in our report a breach form or call the Waterwise Helpline on 13 10 39 (24 Hours)

I have a bore – can I still use my sprinklers? 

Like scheme water, bore water is still water and a resource that should be used wisely. The winter sprinkler ban applies to scheme and bore users, and if our inspectors catch a bore user not following the rosters we pass it on to Department of Water who issue infringements and are responsible for bore water licensing.

For more information, you can read Department of Water’s winter sprinkler ban FAQ’s

Can I still maintenance test my bore?

Bore water users are allowed to flush sprinkler systems once a week on their normal rostered watering days, either before 9am or after 6pm, for about 2 minutes per station. If you have a bore and want to perform maintenance on your sprinklers, make sure you check your watering days first.

The following metropolitan local governments are included in the winter sprinkler ban:

  • Armadale
  • Bassendean
  • Bayswater
  • Belmont
  • Cambridge
  • Canning
  • Claremont
  • Cockburn
  • Cottesloe
  • East Fremantle
  • Fremantle
  • Gosnells
  • Joondalup
  • Kalamunda
  • Kwinana
  • Mandurah
  • Melville
  • Mosman Park
  • Mundaring
  • Murray
  • Nedlands
  • Peppermint Grove
  • Perth
  • Rockingham
  • Serpentine-Jarrahdale
  • South Perth
  • Stirling
  • Subiaco
  • Swan
  • Victoria Park
  • Vincent
  • Wanneroo

The following regional local governments are included in the winter sprinkler ban:

  • Albany
  • Augusta‑Margaret River
  • Boyup Brook
  • Bridgetown‑Greenbushes
  • Bunbury
  • Busselton
  • Capel
  • Collie
  • Cranbrook
  • Dardanup
  • Denmark
  • Donnybrook‑Balingup
  • Harvey
  • Manjimup
  • Nannup
  • Plantagenet
  • Waroona

Create an action plan for your home

Use our water use calculator today
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Noticed a breach of the ban?

Contact our waterwise helpline to report it
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